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Located in a peaceful setting on a working cattle ranch near the Nicaragua border, this pleasant, recently-built lodge exudes a relaxed atmosphere, yet offers surprising comfort given its remoteness.

A covered launch ferries you across the Rio San Carlos to an elegant palm-lined avenue that leads through fields to lovely gardens. Here, a series of bungalows contain 15 substantial, well-appointed rooms with en suite bathroom, ceiling fan and river view. In the main building the airy, open-sided restaurant has a terrace that overlooks a series of pools and the flat countryside. Birds are attracted by fruit placed in dried branches just outside, so you can watch them without even leaving your seat. 

The current owner fell in love with the area, bought a piece of land and established a cattle farm, then built this stylish lodge, which is run by his family. The property stands adjacent to the recently established private Maquenque Wildlife Reserve, and activities include guided bird walks and boat trips on the river; there are also a few horses for riding. It may be a long and bumpy drive to get here, but it’s worth the effort! 

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Key info

Wildlife trips

This accommodation is featured in the following itinerary:

Wildlife Photography in Costa Rica’s Rainforests

Costa Rica has long been an established wildlife destination, renowned for its remarkable biodiversity. Join acclaimed photographer Nick Garbutt on this unique itinerary that offers extended stays in prime locations to discover some of the country’s best preserved ecosystems.

  • When to go: Apr-May
  • Duration inc. flights: 19 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,995 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
This accommodation is located in:

Maquenque Wildlife Refuge

The wetland of Maquenque Wildlife Refuge is located in the northern lowlands, close to the mouth of the Rio San Carlos. Rich in indigenous plants and animals, it is one of the few remaining nesting sites of the endangered great green macaw, as well as other vulnerable species such as manatee and jaguar.

  • Ideal for viewing: great green macaw, agami heron, roseate spoonbill, green ibis, sunbittern
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Birdwatching